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Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono remains vigilant despite COVID-19 case decrease

Doctors at LVH-Pocono say the decline in numbers is directly proportional to social distancing and other measures put into place.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Monroe County now has 995 official cases of coronavirus, and 46 residents have died.

While positive case numbers continue to add up, the rate of cases is slowing down at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono.

A lot has changed since the first reported case last month.

"As you know, this is something new for the whole medical community. We are learning, evolving, and modifying our treatment options as we go. There are some new therapeutics that are on the horizon, and we are trying to use them as well," said Dr. Susheer Gandotra, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono infectious disease director.

Hospital officials say they still have enough tests they can give to symptomatic patients and those at risk.

Testing is being done at the hospital in East Stroudsburg, as well as two other tests and assess locations in Monroe County.

Patients continue to be discharged and removed from ventilators.

Dr. Susheer Gandotra says while this is all good news, this is not a time to let our guards down. Social distancing remains key.

"If we become lax or become lazy, it can easily come back. The message to Monroe County people is to please follow the Department of Health recommendations, keep the social distancing and keep general measures of handwashing, covering a cough, wearing a mask," said Dr. Gandotra.

Because of these practices, hospital staff says also it's completely safe for people with non-COVID-related health issues to come to the hospital to seek medical attention.

"It is safe to come into our emergency room, please don't delay. If you are having a medical emergency, please come to our emergency room. We have an area that we will take you to that we will provide care to you, and we are continuously doing cleaning to our high-touch surface areas, and so it's safe to come here if you have a medical emergency," said Elizabeth Wise, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono president.

Newswatch 16 also asked health officials what they think about any easing of social distancing rules over the next month or so. Doctors say they will be nervous once social distancing rules ease, and it's something they will remain cautious about.